Monday, December 10, 2007

CSA week three - a mess of greens

I made a mess of greens today using up all of the turnips and the callaloo. It was a bit untraditional as I added black eyed peas to the pot half way through. Not an unusual pairing, but usually they're cooked separately.

That addition meant that I couldn't use my preferred method of cooking greens which is to boil them for only 15 minutes or so and then finish them off by frying them up with chopped onion in bacon fat. All boiling works too; no big deal.

Initially, I was worried that the callaloo would cook faster than the turnip greens, but they turned out fine started at the same time. The end result is tasty, but a little bitter. I think that's because I added the peas a little too late and ended up overcooking the greens a little. This recipe should have that fixed:

1 bunch callaloo
1 bunch turnip greens
2 turnips
5 1-inch slices smoked ham shank (at least two from the meaty part) or a smoked turkey leg or just some liquid smoke
1/2 t salt
1/2 t molasses
2 cups frozen black eyed peas (if you use canned, throw them in for just the last few minutes. If you use fresh, soak them first but the timing should work otherwise.)

1. Wash both greens thoroughly, remove tough stems (that's most of the callaloo stems, but possibly none of the turnips'), and coarsely chop.

2. Peel and chop turnips.

3. Layer bottom of 6 quart dutch oven (or some other large pot with a heavy bottom) with ham slices. Add 2 cups water, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Remove ham. Add all of the greens, the turnips, the salt and molasses. Stir well. Replace ham on top of the greens.

5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, mixing in the ham now that the greens have wilted.

6. Remove ham slices and add black eye peas. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes until the peas and thick stems are cooked through.

7. Meanwhile, cool ham, remove meat and marrow from bone, chop and return to pot.

I think I adjusted those times correctly. If you try it, please let me know either way.


Sarah C. said...

I might try this recipe sans ham tonight as I haven't done anything with the turnips and calaloo yet and haven't felt particularly inspired. I've got a can of black eyed peas lying around somewhere as well as some molasses.

billjac said...

This is really the default recipe for greens so it's a perfect thing to make when you're uninspired.

I do have to warn that the smoky flavor from the ham is an essential component of the final flavor. Do you have any smoked paprika? Everyone should have some smoked paprika. If you're leaving that flavor out, you'll have to add something else to compensate. Lemon or vinegar would work. Or you could add a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil.

Make sure to check the salt too; You may have to increase it to compensate for the salt that would have come from the ham.

Sarah C. said...

Smoked Paprika--no check
I'll put that one on the old grocery list. I'll place around with it...hopefully it will still be edible by the time I am done with it. :-)